Slovenia to host EuroBasket Women 2023

Ljubljana – Slovenia will host the 2023 European Women Basketball Championship, with two groups of the preliminary round to be played in Celje and Koper, and the elimination round in the capital of Ljubljana, the executive committee of FIBA Europe decided on Friday.

Slovenia was the only bidder for the elimination round, while the remaining two preliminary stage groups will play in Tel Aviv, Israel. Austria also bid to host the preliminary round.

Matej Erjavec, the president of the Slovenian Basketball Federation, said that the decision to host the tournament was made “exclusively due to the potential of our national team”.

The Slovenian women’s team is departing soon for the EuroBasket Women 2021 in Strasbourg, where they are expected to aim high, according to him.

“I an convinced that in two years, they will be able to go even for a medal at the home court,” Erjavec added.

This will be the second time Slovenia will host a EuroBasket, after the country organised the European basketball championship for men in 2013.

Scheduled for the end of June and beginning of July 2023, the tournament will feature 16 national teams. “Compared to 2013, the tournament will be smaller … but we are nevertheless in for a lot of work,” Erjavec said.

Slovenian team head coach Damir Grgić said that this was a “great recognition for Slovenian women’s basketball” and a dream-come-true for all who had been waiting for such an opportunity.

“I believe that we will be able to appreciate this moment and show in two years that Slovenian women’s basketball has made a large step towards the top of the world in recent years,” he added.

The executive committee of FIBA Europe also changed the qualification format for the tournament, under which the hosts, in this case Slovenia and Israel, will also participate, although their appearance at the tournament is secured.

“This way they will be able to prepare better for the 2023 EuroBasket, as otherwise they would have a difficult time in finding opponents for friendly matches during the qualification slots,” FIBA Europe said in a press release.

A draw for the qualifying groups will be held in August, and the qualifiers will start in November.